Ten-year-old Cailyn Cupp of Reynoldsburg plays for the Blackhawks with the Easton Youth Hockey Association, where she's one of three girls on her team.
WHO: Cailyn Cupp, 10, of Reynoldsburg
WHERE: Nationwide Arena
WHEN: Dec. 7, 2016
THE BACKSTORY: Cailyn loves hockey: watching, playing, studying the game. She was a competitive cheerleader and had tried different sports, mom Desta Borland said, but nothing had really clicked.
Then the family went to a Columbus Blue Jackets game, where Cailyn's interest was ignited. In July 2015, the whole family (Cailyn, mom, dad Matt and brother Tristan, then 3) learned to skate at the OhioHealth Easton Chiller. Now, they all have hockey fever and are CBJ season-ticket holders.
Cailyn plays for the Blackhawks with the Easton Youth Hockey Association, where she's one of three girls on her team. The fourth-grader at Grace Christian School has two practices a week and a weekend game, and she and Borland go to at least one Stick & Puck session a week. "We have fun because we call it mom and daughter date night," Borland said.
Cailyn said her only reservation about the sport was the potential for pain. "As I went into hockey, I had to get all the pads. I found it didn't hurt at all," she said.
The left wing wears No. 72 for the Blackhawks, in honor of her favorite Blue Jacket, Sergei Bobrovsky. She also sports skull-and-crossbones tape on her stick.
"I like to play defense," she said. "I just want to sometimes give our goalie a break."
Thanks to the Columbus Blue Jackets for finding Cailyn and giving us great access to the ice.
For more information about local girls' hockey programs, go to the Central Ohio Girls' Hockey page on Facebook.